Just over a year ago I was working as a Job Developer for people with special needs and needed to supplement my income. I remember my Nana always having this bean bag of some sort that she used to put in the microwave and throw it in her bed to warm it up at night.
I am always cold and my muscles are sometimes sore due to working out and for some reason that made me think of the beanbag. I was looking for warmth and comfort. So I asked my step-mom to teach me how to sew. We spent an entire weekend sewing, had some laughs and some wine and three months later I had created a business plan, a logo and sewed enough stock to attend a craft show."
I don't really have a theme. I guess you could say I try to maybe purchase fabrics that are in season at the time. I also try to keep up with what is popular when it comes to children. For example Peppa Pig, Paw Patrol. Then I look for those fabrics.
I also try and target men as well. Women are more likely to purchase my product. Men do purchase them, just not as much as women do. I try to make it appealing to everyone because the flaxseed pillows are so beneficial on so many levels.
I work with a lot of different essential oils as well so I always smell them and it's very relaxing. Not a bad work environment at all. :)
I get my inspiration from a lot of places/people. Nature is my biggest one though. I am a feeler and then I tend to relate that feeling into the different fabrics I purchase or how I am going to market my product.
I also have a Goddaughter, two step-daughters and two nephews that love to go to the fabric stores and pick out what they like. Kids are usually in "the know" when it comes to 'the craze' so I trust their judgement.
"TIME!!! I feel like there is never enough time. Because I am a one-man show it is difficult to keep up with social media, marketing, making the product, selling it, booking shows etc.
However, I wouldn't change it for the world. I love what I do.The best part of the whole process though is meeting other amazing and talented creators. There are so many talented people out there and it's so amazing and inspiring to be part of it all.
Because I generally have the same items for sale the items themselves don't change much. However, I do make custom designs and there was one customer where her husband was in the military and suffers from extreme back pain.
They reached out to me and asked if I could custom make one to his size. The pillow that I made was about 4 times bigger than the one that is typically found on my price list.
After I made it and gave it to them they reached out to me about two weeks later and gave me the most heartfelt review. They told me that my product really did help relieve the pain and discomfort. As a creator it is always nice to receive feedback. it helps us improve our creations. Aside from the one I just explained, I do receive a lot of feedback from my customers. There is one in particular that made me laugh though. I sold a few Serenity Eye Pillows to a friend of mine. She took them home, used them the very first night she had them and then her boyfriend/husband tried them. She had to order more because she didn't get them back. I thought it was really cute.
The other product I have in the works is a flaxseed blanket. this product will target children (ages 0 - 12) that are on the Autism Spectrum. This product will target the sensory to help calm a child down but also provide the warmth and comfort from the heat. Again, this one is still in the works but I am very much looking forward to releasing it. I absolutely love what I do.
Or I am chilling out with my boyfriend and the girls at a park, colouring, playing mouse trap! Ha ha. I am a giant child myself so these activities are a lot of fun! :)
I attend a lot of craft shows all over the Durham Region. I am just starting to branch out into the York Region and making my way to Hamilton."
Just Us Salon and Spa in Oshawa
Simcoe Street Market in Beaverton
Bubbles and Gems in Port Hope
Fields and Flowers in Port Hope
"I also sell my product online as well through Facebook or Instagram."
Meet Ashleigh at The Artisan Fair on May 4th, 10 am - 2 pm at the Evinrude Centre in Peterborough!